Does Bt rice pose risks to non-target arthropods? Results of a meta-analysis in China

Authors

  • Cong Dang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology & Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology of Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    Search for more papers by this author
    • These two authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Zengbin Lu,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology & Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology of Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    2. Institute of Plant Protection, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan, China
    Search for more papers by this author
    • These two authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Long Wang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology & Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology of Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Xuefei Chang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology & Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology of Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Fang Wang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology & Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology of Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hongwei Yao,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology & Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology of Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Yufa Peng,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pests, Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
    Search for more papers by this author
  • David Stanley,

    1. Biological Control of Insects Research Laboratory, USDA/Agricultural Research Service, Columbia, MO, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gongyin Ye

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology & Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology of Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    • Correspondence (Tel +86-571-88982696; fax +86-571-88982988; email chu@zju.edu.cn)

    Search for more papers by this author

Summary

Transgenic Bt rice expressing the insecticidal proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner (Bt) has been developed since 1989. Their ecological risks towards non-target organisms have been investigated; however, these studies were conducted individually, yielding uncertainty regarding potential agroecological risks associated with large-scale deployment of Bt rice lines. Here, we developed a meta-analysis of the existing literature to synthesize current knowledge of the impacts of Bt rice on functional arthropod guilds, including herbivores, predators, parasitoids and detritivores in laboratory and field studies. Laboratory results indicate Bt rice did not influence survival rate and developmental duration of herbivores, although exposure to Bt rice led to reduced egg laying, which correctly predicted their reduced abundance in Bt rice agroecosystems. Similarly, consuming prey exposed to Bt protein did not influence survival, development or fecundity of predators, indicating constant abundances of predators in Bt rice fields. Compared to control agroecosystems, parasitoid populations decreased slightly in Bt rice cropping systems, while detritivores increased. We draw two inferences. One, laboratory studies of Bt rice showing effects on ecological functional groups are mainly either consistent with or more conservative than results of field studies, and two, Bt rice will pose negligible risks to the non-target functional guilds in future large-scale Bt rice agroecosystems in China.

Ancillary